Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Writing Workshop Session 13 (Argument)

Session 13: Building the Muscles to Compare and Contrast 

Connection:  I can probably bet you compare movies, singers, dancers, or teams all the time.  Or you might even debate which is better than the other.  Take a second right now and talk with the people around you.  What are two things you could compare, or two things that you could debate about?

After a couple of minutes, have students share.

*One thing I noticed is that when you compare something, you usually compare two kinds of similar things, like two singers or two sports teams or tow drinks...

Today we will learn a bit about a compare-and-contrast essay.  It is a kid of essay that can help you develop really deep ideas about texts.

Today I want to teach you that writers can compare and contrast by putting two subjects side by side and asking, "How are they similar?  How are they different?  Then, they write in an organized way.

Listen as I compare soda and juice. 
(refer to p.121)

What I just did was name a random bunch of comparisons.  It's a good start but I think I can do better.
I have to think more logically than that.

There is a method to comparing and contrasting.
If you want to write an essay that says juice and soda are mostly the same, one way to do it is to take a trait name it and then say how that trait is the same for both items- item A and item B.  Then, you take a second trait-name it- and say how that trait is also the same for both items.

So let's try this method...

Soda and juice are similar in many ways.  They are both liquids you can drink them, and they fill whatever container they are out into.  Also, both soda and juice taste similar.  Both liquids are sweet plus they taste refreshing when one is thirsty.  

Active Engagement:  Compare and contrast the following shirts below.  They belong to the same person.

First, let's focus on how they are different.  Here is a sample compare and contrast essay...

The shirts pictured above are different in many ways.  They are very different in shape.  One is long with long sleeves, while the other is much shorter in length, has short sleeves and a crew neck.  The texture of the shirts is also very different.  One is stiff material and the other has soft material.  Lastly, the shirts serve a different purpose.  One shirt looks more professional, like something you would wear to work.  The other is a T-shirt, something you would wear around the house or to the grocery store. 

Now, focus on the similarities.

But, these shirts are also similar in some ways.  They are the same color.  Both shirts are blue.  They are slow the same size, a small.  And they both have the same owner.  

*One way to write a compare-and-contrast essay is to discuss both similarities and differences-one at a time.  The writer chooses a trait and looks at it across two items, the chooses another trait and looks at that across the two items.

Today you are going to rotate through centers.  Though you won't be writing about literature just yet, you'll have a chance to use your powers of observation for comparing and contrasting, as well as your writing skills.  I've set up pictures of different objects around the room for you to compare and contrast in your writer's notebook.  I'm going to leave our model paragraph up here for you to use today as well, so you can remember how we write about our observations in organized ways.  

Let's look at the following chart of the tips for comparing and contrasting that you hopefully used today.

Homework:  Tonight, find two things in your own life that you would like to compare and contrast and write about them.  You might compare your books or clothes or other items in your house.  You might even compare people or places in your life.  

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